Treasury backs public-private funding scheme in Autumn Statement documents

A new pipeline of PF2 projects is being prepared by the Treasury, according to documents published with this week’s Autumn Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond made no reference to the public-private financing initiative in his speech to the Commons. But in the Autumn Statement document the government said it will announce a PF2 pipeline covering social and economic infrastructure schemes early next year.

It comes after the Treasury recently appointed investment banker Matthew Vickerstaff as its first ever infrastructure finance chief. Vickerstaff will take responsibility for PF2 policy and implementation.

Speaking to Building, Jason Millett, chief operating officer at Mace, welcomed the move, saying it would be an important part of the funding mix for delivering vital infrastructure.

He said: “Whatever people think about [the private finance initiative], it served its purpose. There has been a void for a while now, we’ve had a vacuum for the last two governments so its return is a good thing.”

The government has also extended its commitment to the UK infrastructure guarantees scheme, which underpins private investment in projects, until at least 2026. It added that it is working with the industry to work out the demand for construction-only guarantees.

David Gauke MP, chief secretary to the Treasury, will also chair a new ministerial group overseeing the delivery of priority infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile the government revealed in the documents that it will launch a review, led by the Infrastructure and Major Projects Authority into how it – working with the construction industry – can reduce the cost and improve the performance of UK infrastructure.